Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why you give two weeks notice instead of a month.

I am not sure where to start on what has happened in the past 5 days. I gave my company about a months notice, with my last day being 10/21. As soon as I put in notice, people started behaving strangely towards me. Not inviting me to meetings, talking over me when I was invited, not showing up for meetings I scheduled, etc. This started grating on me, wearing me down. I thought I was doing the right thing, staying on as long as I could to help. I thought I was being fair, seeing as I was leaving in the middle of a major integration. I felt guilty for leaving my coworkers the way that I did.

I left work last Wednesday and I knew. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. I told the boy and Big Jed I was going to be asked to leave the next day.

I walked into my managers office and was asked to close the door. I braced myself, swearing I would not cry. Tell me how it is going, he said. Tell me what is going on in Erratic's life. I lost it. I told him of all the frustrations of trying to help and being rebuffed. That I was pulling away in response, working on documentation and other things to stay away from all the negativity. I told him of a friendship that was being pulled to it's limits because of both of our frustration with the situation. I told him of the way people were treating me, talking over me, this friend included. That I felt worthless and helpless and all I wanted to do was help make this easier on the people around me. I cried until I couldn't talk.

He told me that there were multiple complaints against me, from the project team, and that it couldn't get much worse. He told me it was fueled by jealousy and that people do awful things when they are jealous. He told me that it was out of his hands. He told me that the way I was describing things were not the way that he was being told them by others, this friend included. He told me they wanted me out, that if I hadn't given notice, I would have likely been terminated. I would still get paid through the beginning of November and I was still eligible for rehire. He said those things as if they would make me feel better.

I was humiliated. I made him sit there with me until I stopped sobbing, until I could get myself under control. He told me not to worry about logging on again, to just meet him over the weekend and we would clear out my desk and turn in my stuff. I told him I couldn't face them. Knowing what everyone would say about me after I left, knowing that I would be the center of their hurtful gossip for weeks to come. It was cowardly and I didn't care. I couldn't face them.

There was some backlash with this friend, which I am not ready to discuss here. I lost a friend. And when I attempted to explain my hurt and anger, I was told not to bother. I have a feeling that many will follow suit. Either believing the rumors or some false sense of the need to take sides.

So, today I went and cleaned out my desk. It was surreal. I have been with this company for 7 1/2 years and I walked away with 2 bags and a coat. I shook my managers hand and wished him luck. He asked me if I would stay in touch. I shrugged and told him I am not sure there are many people here who want that anymore. He nodded his head as if to say, you're right and I am sorry for that.

The few people I have talked to from the office have said not to take it personally, that it was business. I don't know how to respond to that. These were personal attacks. The things that were said about me were not criticisms of my work. They were that I "checked out" after being asked to essentially do just that. I wasn't joining conference calls, after being asked to let another coworker take lead on them. I didn't tell a coworker that a meeting had been rescheduled because she was standing in the room when I rescheduled it.

It's all water under the bridge now. They have my badge, my laptop, my pager, everything. And I am happy that it is over. I am happy to be rid of that toxic place and those toxic people.

But, they weren't all like that. And I never got to say goodbye. I never got the goodbye part, the email telling everyone how much I have enjoyed working with them over the years, the hugs on my last day, everybody swearing we would keep in touch. It may seem silly, but I didn't get to walk out of there with dignity. I walked out with my tail between my legs and tears in my eyes. That will haunt me. I took a lot of pride in the work I did there.

The last thing my manager said to me was that it was the last 5 seconds that count. I looked at him and said, what does that make me? He said, you turned over all of your work, left everything you could to help. That will be remembered. I smiled and said, I see my last 5 seconds very differently and got in my car and drove away.

I am not starting a new chapter, I am starting a new book. And I refuse to look back.


Krackle said...

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a crap about what the others say, you know who this is and you probably know where I stand. Certain types of people can be very shitty when something like this happens. They were all acting unprofessionally and some on the verge of being child like. You were awesome and you will be even better when you pursue something that you really love to do. Looking forward to the invite (hint hint) to try some of your concoctions... Let's do lunch. WE MISS YOU!!!